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Genomes -- research


Recombination mediator proteins have come into focus as promising targets for cancer therapy, with synthetic lethal approaches now clinically validated by the efficacy of PARP inhibitors in treating BRCA2 cancers and RECQ inhibitors in treating cancers with microsatellite instabilities. Thus, understanding the cellular role of recombination mediators is critically important, both to improve current therapies and develop new ones that target these pathways. Our mechanistic understanding of BRCA2 and RECQ began in . Here, we review the cellular roles of RecF and RecQ, often considered functional homologs of these proteins in bacteria. Although these proteins were originally isolated as genes that were required during replication in sexual cell cycles that produce recombinant products, we now know that their function is similarly required during replication in asexual or mitotic-like cell cycles, where recombination is detrimental and generally not observed. Cells mutated in these gene products are unable to protect and process replication forks blocked at DNA damage, resulting in high rates of cell lethality and recombination events that compromise genome integrity during replication.


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